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Congressman John Larson

Representing the 1st District of Connecticut

Larson Calls for Vote on Expanded Background Checks

April 17, 2013
Press Release

Washington – Today Rep. John B. Larson (CT-01) took to the floor of the United States House of Representatives to call for a vote on legislation expanding background checks to all commercial gun sales. While the majority party in the House remains unwilling to take up any legislation to address gun violence prevention, Congressman Larson plans on filing a bill identical to the bi-partisan Manchin-Toomey background checks proposal, and to subsequently file a discharge petition to bring it to the floor if the House continues not to act.

"We need to vote in the United States Congress," said Congressman Larson. "If these young children had the courage to go after their assailant, if the teacher stepped in the way to protect, does Congress have the will and the courage to stand up and merely do what it was elected to do – cast a vote in both chambers, cast a vote on behalf of the American people, cast a vote on behalf of these children, on behalf of these parents who have come here to besiege the United States Congress to do its responsibility, to do what we take the oath of office for."

"Ninety-two percent of the American people believe that we need universal background checks," Larson continued. "We have to make sure that our bodies, both the Senate and the House, take up this legislation in the aftermath of yet another tragedy on Patriot's Day. The most patriotic thing we can do is vote."

Full Transcript of Congressman Larson's speech below:

Thank you Mr. Speaker. Our hearts as well go out to the victims and the families of those who were killed and seriously wounded in Boston on Patriot's Day. This has been a very difficult time for our country. At that event in Boston, where families from Newtown Connecticut, invited to celebrate Patriot's Day in Boston, the Red Sox play in the morning, the marathon takes place, families gather, and again America faces another tragedy.

Last week family members from Newtown came to the hill to lobby Congress, to ask Congress what the President of the United States has asked of us both in the State of the Union and in his two trips up to Connecticut. The President has said is, however you feel about the issue of gun violence, however you feel about the second amendment, we deserve a vote both in the other body in the Senate and here on the floor of the House of Representatives.

A vote, not only for the twenty children and six teachers and administrators who died in that tragedy on December 14th but for people in Tucson and Aurora and on virtually every street in cities all across America where we have seen this needless and senseless violence take place. Patriot's Day, another act of violence. Strides are being made in the United States Senate, compromise is being offered on something that Ninety-two percent of the American people agree with, universal background checks. Universal background checks to keep guns out of the hands of terrorists.

The United States of America is currently mocked by Adam Gadahn, an American al Qaeda on the FBI's Most Wanted list, who taunts America and says this, and you can see it on BuzzFeed, America is absolutely awash with easily attainable firearms, large capacity clips. You can get them even without any identification. This from the most wanted on the FBI list.

We need to vote in the United States Congress. If these young children had the courage to go after their assailant, if the teacher stepped in the way to protect, does Congress have the will and the courage to stand up and merely do what was elected to do - cast a vote in both chambers, cast a vote on behalf of the American people, cast a vote on behalf of these children, on behalf of these parents who have come here to besiege the United States Congress only to do its responsibility, to do what we take the oath of office for.

Ninety-two percent of the American people believe that we need universal background checks. We have to make sure that our bodies, both the Senate and the House, take up this legislation in the aftermath of yet another tragedy on Patriot's Day. The most patriotic thing we can do is vote.

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